A study of the ergonomics of emergency stop pushbuttons Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/9s161974n

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  • Emergency stop controls are essential parts of industrial machinery because they are designed to stop the operation in case of emergencies without risks to operators, equipment, products, or facilities. Current guidelines for emergency stop controls have been formulated based on experience but not on empirical studies. The main objectives of this research were to determine the effects of the type and orientation of emergency stop pushbuttons on the reaction time, mode of activation, and preferences of subjects in order to formulate guidelines for their selection. An experiment consisting of a simple, cooperative assembly operation with a Microbot was designed for this study. The main conclusions of this research are that reaction time to activate emergency stop pushbutton is not affected by the orientation of the control but it is influenced by the type of control. The mode of activation of emergency stop pushbuttons is influenced by both the type and the orientation of the control. Subjects preferred emergency stop pushbuttons without guards or with half guards over controls with full guards, and subjects also preferred an inclined orientation of the control over horizontal or vertical orientations. The following guidelines are recommended for the selection of emergency stop pushbuttons. Select emergency stop pushbuttons without guards. If a guard is absolutely required, select a guard with slots or a half guard to ensure adequate visibility of and access to the button. If possible, give emergency stop pushbuttons an inclined orientation (about 45°) on the control panel. Avoid using vertical orientations for these controls.
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